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tv   Civility Politics  CSPAN  August 4, 2012 8:00pm-9:10pm EDT

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>> next, a discussion on the the civility in politics. after that, economic growth as a foundation of freedom. after that, a look at 18 to 29year-old voters in the 2012 election. now reform on civility in politics. participants talk about whether it is stability is something inherent in our society for a threat to society. this is hosted by zocalo public square. it offer solutions to create a more peaceful and respectful conversation in washington. this is an hour and 10 minutes. >> good evening.
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welcome to tonight's event. i am the president of cal humanities. we support humanity programs across california like this one tonight. this event is part of a larger initiative we call searching for democracy. we have about 600 events taking place across california. many of them are coming up in san francisco. if you want to find out more, go to our facebook page or sign up on our website. i want to thank folks at zocalo public square and our board member, bob, who is here. i'll pass it over to gregory. >> i will be quick. thank you to cal humanities for paying for this event. we are very grateful.
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we are happy that c-span is here tonight. zocalo public square is a small nonprofit. our mission is to connect people to ideas and each other. partnering withavin organizations like cal humanities. we inviteght's event, you to speak further with tonight's gas and with each other. with ight's guests and each other. is diversity bad for democracy? that discussion will be in san diego. what does vigilance mean now? we will close out the series in bakersfield on october 18 by asking, how much does the costs to become president? [laughter] thanks.
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for quicker updates, all of us on facebook or twitter. please shut off all of your phones or anything that might cause noise. i am pleased to introduce tonight's moderator, joe mathews. of a novel author o f and author of "the people's machine: arnold schwarzenegger and the rise of blockbuster democracy." he is a contributing writer for "the los angeles times" and lead blogger. please give a warm welcome to joe mathews. [applause] >> thank you. i am surprised to be here. i am a resident of los angeles. but my whole career in the media
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-- you can understand that whatever the we doing a forum on the possibility, i asked, what is that? i have been reading about it. it is an interesting concept. you might think about trying it. [laughter] visibility overrated? -- is incivility overrated? we have a variety of people here. we have an artist, an anthropologist. they have traveled here from three great american cities. one is from san diego. one is from an exotic country. civility has been an american conception from the earliest times. the rules of civility and rules
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of behavior in a conversation. but not off your clothes in the presence of others, nor go out of the chamber have addressed. -- half dressed. give way to for him to pass in the doorway. the first rule of civility and is one we agreed upon definition. every action done in the company showing some sign of respect to those that are in prison. the research on stability, there are a bunch of unknowns and disagreements. defining this is not enough. there is a big question -- how important is civility in
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american democracy? we have never been a particularly apt symbol people. we have been a great success as a country. civility.tabilit is it helpful to is decided? we have four panelists. i will introduce them. i will start to my right with cassandra dahnke, co-founder of the institute for stability in a government based in houston, texas. ten rules that work, which is a great improvement over 110 rules. she has spoken all over the country. she is very good at bringing people together for several dialogue, especially political parties.
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i wish truck -- was struck by your book. the have great narrative is about people in washington. there are politicians who are playing a political game. they are quite civil to each other. they know how to do it, even if they cannot seem to get things done. what is the problem? if they know how to do it, why can they not all do it? is it overrated? >> what we have found is that there is a hunger on the hill for stability, not just among the selected leaders, but also among that staff. they are starving for disability. it seems to work against them in many ways. they find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place.
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i will leave it at that. >> tell me about the goal. you said you are trying to develop a national movement for civility. how do you do that? where is the end zone? howdy know you have one and you can do the touchdown? >> how do we do that? let me back up a little bit. as you mentioned, we used to do back in the 1990 costs in working with diverse political groups in washington, d.c. to learn a little bit about the citizens of role. we had folks all the way from the left and right to in between. they chose five issues they care about.
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they all got along great. they enjoy sightseeing and enjoyed meals. until they found out that they fundamentally disagreed on specific bills and issues. and these are specific pieces of legislation. then they did not get ugly, but the conversation stopped. it just stopped. even when you wanted to talk with one another, they did not know how to do it. we became aware that we lack a basic skills that for how to stay present with one another in a respectful way when we fundamentally disagree. that is why been we felt that be needed to start a movement. the only way we will see a change in washington is if we communicate how important that change is. in order to do that, you have to have numbers. >> what would you get if you have more civility?
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>> we would see more creative problem-solving. people would hear ideas that right now they are not listening to. you have a more collegial this sort of air on the hill that would lend itself to cooperation. we are not that is a did for consensus in the government. it is not that we want everyone to agree all the time. that is a given. but instead of saying it has to be this way or that way, if you get into a conversation, you might find there is a third or fourth view. >> they feel that your work against the whole culture -- there is this ideal of speaking out, the truth of power.
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isiah, chapter 58 -- .'s instructions are cry out with no restraint. are to crystructions out with no restraint. that sounds very american is. >> what this has to be a piece of who we are. if we cannot talk with one another in a civil way, then we cannot accomplish anything else. that is a pretty good indication of that. i feel like i am speaking the truth of power. i am not working against the culture. i am leading the way for what is to come. >> thank you. i want to bring in the henry brady, the dean of american political science association.
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he has got a new book out. let me put the quote up on the wall. you said in an e-mail -- civility is a product of the polarization. in your book, it right for the rank and file of both parties, polarization has increased substantially among those on the highest income percentile than those lower on the income ladder, especially those at the bottom. is this a rich people problem? >> it is everyone's problem. but people have a lot of influence in american politics,
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at especially if money is important in politics. it becomes everyone's problem. the root of the problem is that we need to talk to one another. compromise is not a dirty word. one of the real problematic things is that people say compromise is a bad thing. it is not a bad thing. it is what politics is about. we ultimately have to realize that we live in a civil society back together. that means compromise has to be essential for us to get things done. we seem to have lost sight about that. >> is civility and polarization lint? is the research that shows that? grex no question about it. -- is civility and polarization
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linked? >> no question about it. the impacts of the civil rights movement and changes in southern politics led basically to the rise of social issues. the trouble with social issues is that abortion is a really tough issue. it is hard to have a middle decision. roe versus wade has a middle decision, but it makes people crazy. it is neither pro-choice or pro- life. it is somewhere in the middle. this is hard for people. it is easier to go to a corner of pro-taurus or pro-life. those issues have become very important. -- pro-choice or pro-life. those issues have become very important. >> it is all moralized.
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>> is it -- i am not from san francisco. i look at san francisco politics from afar and wonder, what the heck? san francisco politics look like a very narrow ideological spectrum. is it more than just two parties getting further away from each other? about what is really going on. in america, american public is not more divided than it was 30 or 40 years ago. what we have happened is the sorting of parties. moderate republicans used to be conservative democrats. but there are not as around any more in the two parties.
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the parties are becoming quite rambunctious and fighting a lot. you are going to their respective corners. that is what we are seeing in american politics. that is the nature of politics. there is always a little bit polarize asian. polarization. but gosh, you might learn from someone who has a different perspective from you. i can talk to people of all sorts of opinions. i am amazed at what i can learn from people have different political views from i do. let me follow up. there is a lot of research that says polarization has a positive aspect been that many people worry about, which is engagement. is it not a good thing? is their way to take the measure? does the biggest we get from engagement from colorization out
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polarization? >> is certainly animates people in. anger and in its people. -- animates people. but it turns people off and turn some away from the polls. i think attenuates it on balance. >> thank you. i want to bring in meenakshi chakraverti, who is a founding director. he works on the public conversation project in san diego. she started a very important conversation on child welfare and used.
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she has initiated conversations in san diego. she has taught at universities all over the country. before entering this field, she was in economic development. she has a doctorate in social anthropology. she has done a lot of different things in a lot of different contexts. let me ask you this question as someone who engages in all kinds of issues -- can civility be away of avoiding a difficult subject? does it always get us to a deeper conversation? >> i think, joe, you hit on the reason why there is a vote yes or no. is civility overrated?
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i found myself saying no. civility has risks and adverse effects. civility, when we use that one word, it is often read and heard in a very simplistic way. when you use civility as avoidance, many people worry that it does mean avoidance. it means just politeness. for example, it mentions that quotation from isaiah -- raise your voice. i did nothing that was a call for incivility. i do not think raising your voice and expression your passion is necessarily on civil. -- uncivil. by civility and using a narrow
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understanding of it can often suggest that what you are talking about is merely politeness and avoidance. the most significant dialogues like henry was saying is when people really listen. one of the things of the public conversations project did was get the leaders together. there were very simple conversations. >> this is in the boston area in the mid-1990's. he shot people on a plan -- planned parenthood, right? >> that is right. most of the pro-choice movements from this were afraid, but they
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came together and had a very significant dialogue. they did not compromise. dubai were talking bout things that were very hard. -- they were talking about things that were very hard. it is not an easy topic. it is not easy to talk about. passionately raising your voice is not necessarily incivility. civility is not necessarily avoidance. >> are there some topics -- you mentioned abortion -- are there some things that are so outrageous that a simple response is not the right response? can you be civil when there is an unconstitutional
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thing happens? there are some our region is so great that a simple response is not the proper response. -- outrages so great that a civil response is not the proper response. >> that is completely unwarranted in some cases. there is a boundary for stability. >> when does it become a dangerous? >> one is the are obscure, were the issues are. to give a simple example, when you call someone in contemporary politics "fascist" it obscures.
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your listener does not necessarily know what criteria you are using. it may be not the same criteria they use. or they could dismiss you. of obscure is what the real kind of critique is when you get uncivil. the other thing that is dangerous that triggers often creates a cycle. when i get a are, it will trigger you into responding with stress hormones -- when i get angry, it will trigger you enter responded with stress hormones. you respond in a way that then
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triggers the same response back at me. this goes back and forth. this is a mirror. it really is something that your biological self creates responses that do not make for the complex thinking or the most wise decision making. the kinds of conversations that would be learning conversations. >> interesting. thank you very much. i want to bring in jennifer linde, who is a senior lecturer at the far right. she works at the arizona state university in communications. she participated in the design development of civil dialogue
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at that university. it is a very full moral format -- formal format. it is performance studies classes. both public and in the classroom. i wonder if you can explain this to mean? years of the performance -- civility is a performance. we are asking people to perform a little bit. what is the nature of that? is this about blocking and smiling when someone yells at you? >> it does not hurt, i guess. i would be cautious to call it a performance. it gets to the idea that stability cannot be about manners. -- civility cannot be about
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manners. it is intended to produce knowledge, and to produce something. the point of the dialogue of civility is not necessarily to compromise, but what do we come away with from this? we have designed a format. two people who have strong disagreements about a topic and there is an interesting central chair that may be dead and at some of the ideas we're talking about. the central chair is about, am i undecided or neutral about this statement? we hold dialogues about a very controversial topics. we do not shy away from water boarding. we talk about torture. we talk about immigration.
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we bring up their controversial topics. the volunteers that sit in the circle speak from their own experiences and feelings and their own emotions. because the format we are asking for civility and because people have different positions, that central chair becomes interesting. >> i see as he puzzled looks from the audience. if the five of us were the actors in this, and you two greed and i disagreed and another was neutral, we are falling civility principles in a structured crop -- we are following civility in a structured conversation. >> we encourage passion. if you want to sit in a chair
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that strongly disagrees with a provocative statement, you will be called upon to talk about that. the dialogue has a format in which we invite the audience to become part of the conversation. no one is left out. everyone is performing. at some point, it may be that a lot of the dialogue has really generated support for this side, but then the audience comes in and it balances out. what is interesting about the middle chair is that people at the end, they come back to being able to state where the position is. they say that i think i am over here. i understand. i have an opinion. it is productive and that people find out things about what they think as they are participating in the dialogue. >> day find a particular of -- they find a particular is of --
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is the audience in a semicircle and? -- semicircle? >> bought in circles around. it is important that we are all looking at each other. >> why? >> it is about performance. it is coming to understand speech. it is a communication department. our bodies within proximity of each other make as more responsible for what we say. i will look into your eyes. we encourage people not to engage in fake listening, but to really look at you and listen. for the eight years and have done this dialogue, people have come away saying, i have not changed what i think, but i understand what you think. that is huge. >> i apologize for not rearranging the chairs. [laughter] from ad a steaudy
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researcher from the university of pennsylvania. they staged four different exchanges, political exchanges. in one version of each exchange, they were several and the other was not simple. they showed it from different camera angles. -- they were civil and the other was not civil. but u.s. showed from different camera angles. was a turngle, they bouit off. the other, it was not. >> remember, we're having a physical experience.
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we feel that small spaces and small groups are more productive. we will sit in a closed area. you can feel your emotions. we had a dialogue about immigration were a young woman who was undocumented broke down. her body was part of the dialogue serious she began to be very emotional. it had an interesting aspect been on the audience and members of the dialogue. they have felt it. proximity is huge. >> actors would notice. i come from a city of thousands of active members. we put them to work. teaching them civility. [laughter] thank you. i want to mix it up amongst the group. in some of the more recent conversations on civility, the
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shooting of their broken birds conference was held in tucson. -- gabby giffords conference held in tucson. as i rhetoric study that conservatives use our wage language more than liberal -- i read a the rhetoric but steady that said conservatives used outrage language more than liberal. >> it grew into something that people were discouraging. it was quite a conversation on the hill and in other places. it is more this party that more
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that party who is guilty? i mean, the last two years, it has been interesting to watch. from my experience, there is plenty of guilt all over the place. i hear people on the left. i hear people on the right. i hear people in between. that is where i leave it. there are surveys where that just came out last year. they showed where republicans think democrats are responsible for the lack of civility. democrats think republicans are responsible. everyone believes it is someone else's fault. i think we are all part of the problem. or the solution.
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>> on the same question of partisanship and polarization, what do we know about what reverses' polarization to reach civility? we just tried an experiment in california. we will have a new election system that would empower people in the middle, moderates, independents. no one showed up. lowest turn out. only 6% of independents showed up to use their new power. >> the problems that helps. you have to think about structural changes in our government institutions. not a big ones. it is a shame that you can force a filibuster and go home.
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you do not do what you see in the movies of filibustering and staying up all night. you can go home and say i will not vote for anything. we will continue to filibuster. and do you want to stop discussion and compromise? there is the costs imposed. we can watch it on c-span. we can watch and see what people are doing in trying to make their cases of why filibuster is a good idea. that is why been we have less filibustering. east have 10 or 15, now we have 100 filibusters' per session. -- we used to have 10 or 15, now we have 100 filibusters' per session. >> 34 = our challenges. we do not do those as much
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anymore. there is no question that there is less violence in the world. >> i think violence is a different thing. we are talking about its political civility. there are areas where poll ratinpolarization issues are hu. each side has something to worry about. republicans do not want to lose that tax breaks, which are helpful to them. democrats don't not want to lose spending from the government, which is helpful to them. there is tremendous polarization on these issues. those kinds of things cause a failure to be civil to one another and have compromises. >> here is a question.
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-- george washington wrote 110 rules. it can be a tool, a weapon to say that these people with their new way of talking -- i remember from my youth, rappers talk about inner-city violence before the rest of the world did. how do you negotiate civility that leaves room for any other person? >> i think that is a huge question. there are critics of dialogues as a process that pacifies, so
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to speak. the idea of civility could be one that silences, especially if you consider civility in a cultural format. we will silence a lot of people. if we do not want to have that silencing understanding of what civility needs to expand. it needs to be looked at more closely in a cultural format. in cross-cultural formats. and not simply cross-cultural where it is, say, european american and a tribal community sitting together. but also a cultural format where
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we think of as homogenous, as a middle class, educated americans -- there is a lot of language difference there. because on the surface we look similar, there again calls for a simple civility. it is tricky. it is a very important question. >> what is the answer? if you are going to be uncivil you should have an important point to make it? >> no. >> let's not call people who are protesters uncivil. protest can be very simple. you have signs.
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you complain. you might make noise. but it is not incivility. it is a right to assemble. it is part of our constitution. >> i grew up in a country where we are you a lot. for many americans -- i am now american -- people who have grown up here say that americans are the most argumentative. yet not seen others argue. [laughter] but many of those arguments -- there is a real engagement. there has been a cultural assorting that does follow the political sortiing. i think you were referring to that, henry.
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the rule of thumb is that you look at whether that conversation is working for the purposes of the conversation. i think that would be my rule of thumb. what are the purposes of the conversation? >> as a recovering newspaper reporter, when i was a reporter, the idea of civility was that it was so gosh darn boring. jennifer, incivility is often more interesting. it can be news. how do you make civility interesting? >> i think civility is interesting. i think what we do is that we do
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not give people space when we do not agree. we need people to be able to speak to one another. tammy get people agreeing that it is hurtful -- can we get people agreeing that it is hurtful, we are trying to talk? bodies in a talking to be very powerful for people to experience -- bodies in a space talking can be very powerful for people to experience. >> i want to get to questions in a sort of lightning round. this is a free society. we have all kinds of sanctions and rules that controls speech, even in public forums. we have a long history of libel and deformation and fighting and threats.
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you cannot be publicly nude in most places. there is broadcast indecency rules against certain types of pornography. what rules do we not have? you have to behave in court as well. what rules and we need that are not covered by these existing structures? >> i do not know if it is a rolule. as a kid, i have met a lot of different people. people are different. i wish we had in our interest in why that person has an opinion that is different from mine. can i understand how they got to that? usually there is an interesting story. people are not stupid. they do not have an opinion for no reason. >> anyone else on this question? is there a regime or rule regulation that we do not have? >> we do not need more liberals.
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we need more skills. we need -- we do not need more rules. we need more skills. we have to really listen. it is not rules. it is the heart and opportunities. >> of does that mean a state- mandated curriculum? [laughter] >> there are more schools developing civility programs and looking at this as part of their mandate to help students in civic responsibilities and not is none in the form of government, but knowing how to interact with each other in a civil way. >> i was going to agree. the answer is engaging. we need to engage more. there is a young man here from an organization. they have a festival were they
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brought together young people across the spectrum. they had people talking, occupied people talking -- occupy people talking. people held fairly different political positions. people are coming together to have those conversations. what does it mean to talk across differences. to buy it do not necessarily agree or compromise -- they do not necessarily agree a compromise, but they are curious. >> go meet some completely different than you are. it will be interesting. >> if you disagree with them, it is even better. we are starting is a dividend in civil communication as part of our department. my colleague uses civil dialogue
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in his argumentation class. there was a letter that stated that attending civil dialogue with us and during the course work, he was better able to handle the disagreements he had in eight women cost studies class, both with professors and others in the classroom. he said, i have come to understand how to listen to people who do not think the same way i do. >> last question before we go to the audience. since there isn't room for more people -- is more room for people for civility, how do we get to that balance? my boss has been showing off a
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book. he is reading serious philosophy in the opposite. there is a newer book out where there is this concept of humans % chimp. it wants to do what it wants to do. the 10% is the bee that needs to serve a higer purpose -- higher purpose. where is the balance? a civil norm for outsiders? >> democracy is about the balance. binding that recipe
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to get to the balance -- i think the word that you are doing and learning with public conversations at pieces. people will figure out the balance. that would be my answer. >> ok. thank you. >> we are moving on to the question portion of the evening. thank you for joining us on this monday. if you would raise your hand, we will take your questions. you appear in c-span sometime in august. please state your name into the microphone. >> ellen. what i am not hearing much about
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is the presence of online discourse. i was hearing a lot about the face to face contact. i am curious to hear about your reaction. anonymousea of being is troubling. when you have that, you can say what you want without someone acknowledging who you are. it is troubling. i think more productive behavior in learning how to be civil. >> the question over here. >> hi. i am from the league of women voters in california. i was very taken with your five ideas. i was having a conversation with the tea party person and and
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occupy person. a good conclusion from that kind of work is not so much that people change their minds, but that they begin to respect the other. >> and i think when that happens, they are willing to compromise. they know it is not the end of the world if the other side gets their way. there is this notion that we would get something incredibly extreme if the other side wins. that is not true, especially in america. >> a question on your left. >> michael. i almost find politics kind of boring next to, i guess, i like england. they have the house of commons. people cheer and get up.
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historically, the lectern between the two parties, it was a two sword lengths so when i could not slice the other. anyway, you said something about south east asia. i wonder if there is an international sort of difference from one nation to the next, or are we all centered on america? >> i think there are definitely international differences. the little bit i have heard and seen is not terribly civil most of the time. what makes a difference is that politicians could be a badly, and sometimes they do. -- behave badly, and sometimes they do. in families, you live together
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with people that you dramatically disagree with. their part of your extended family, part of your community. you live with that. even the politicians are fighting, you continue to have engagements that i have found a little bit in the u.s. recently. i think that is going back to an old point. >> question time. the prime minister goes and they scream. there are insults. there seems to be a conflict and resolution. issues get out. isn't that kind of what democracies are supposed to be about? civility is a silencer? >> in those situations, people
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lose focus on the problems. he wired try to come up with facts and information about those problems. -- they are trying to come up with facts and information on those problems. maybe if the president went to congress on c-span, that would be useful for america to see that kind of dialogue. >> in our dialogue, we talk explicitly to audiences about passion. passion is very important, but that does not mean that you demonize others. i conceal passion. some people do not limit how much they expressed passion. >> one of the things that we do that brings together key members of congress, one democrat and one republican on a university campus, to discuss problems,
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side by side. they were able to do that with fashion and civility. it is productive. it is interesting when it happens. >> question right over here in the front. >> thank you. my name is robert. i wonder if you might take a view historically. our nation has survived 235 years. we have had a civil war. to go back to the election of 1800, the election between john adams and thomas jefferson was equally as better or even more bitter than the fights we are seeing today. we have supplied all of this. the this is a pendulum that will swing back. -- we have survived all of this. may be this pendulum will swing
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back. >> we have had periods of incivility and polarization. that not in a time that is paul rise. we have just come out of an era in the 1950's and 1960's were there was a lot of civility after world war ii. after a circumstance like that where you work together to solve problems. >> there is this ideal of we did not talk to each other so we cannot get things done. looking back to the civil war in the u.s., the is a tuition where you worked is the product of the transcontinental railroad. we're literally fighting, but able to do big things.
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what is different? >> i think -- that is a good question. the institutions are a little bit complicated there was certainly one party that's controlled everything. it was not like they had a hard time getting legislation through. [laughter] it was only after the civil war that we it's a really hard times. that is one answer to your question. again, it is partly the institutions that we have. i wonder if the america we lost is that we can do anything -- asking each other to pay a price when we try to do something big. one of the things that was a shame about georgetown beat bush george bush and the draft going away was a bad idea.
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if you're going to have wars, everyone should have a chance to be in the military. >> question to the left. >> a question about the media specifically as it pertained to post-political careers. it can be galvanizing and polarizing. these people are making substantial careers by flash in the pan political appearances. does that move against this movement? >> who wants to tackle that? >> i did not hear the last part of the question. >> and you think the financial gains that seem to happen for the politically polarizing undermines the pushed towards civility? >> technical, making money.
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>> i've is thinking this when you're talking a manner to the about that it may not be that civility, but incivility has a certain quality. some people are drawn to that. i have been taught politeness, but look at what they are doing. that is when we add doubt may be something that we privately admire. >> it is true in some of the debates on cable channels. >> the most polarized people are moving further away as your book documented. the rich is republicans and --
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is is another problem of affluence? >> i think there is a problem with money becoming important in american politics. when you are giving time to politics, your real engage and involved. yeah to talk with people and go out and maybe try to retreat -- you have to talk with people and go out and maybe try to recruit. people can usei, the money to vilify the opponent. time areto receive involved in politics. -- to see time more involved in politics. [applause] >> why are rich people so nasty? how do we reach them?
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>> i do not know that it is only the wealthy who are being rude. i would say that it does capture our attention when there is a real performance of incivility.
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>> if i am going to be called a name every other day, and not really interested, thank you very much. it is a problem. >> we have time for a few more quick questions. >> as a counterpoint -- there is this notion that people will make a career out of this. i am wondering if any of you have been involved in any kinds of initiatives to help media organizations? given the sound bite nature of a
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lot of media, we realize it is a challenge. but it might be worth a concerted effort to think about. >> well, one of the things about the project, we have elected officials in the program where we can expose the number of different skills that they need, to show them how to engage. not necessarily coming up right away, but at least to compromise. so come up one of the things we have been told and we have noticed is we will -- they do not have all the skills they
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need. they're not necessarily accomplished as public officials. how to negotiate, how to dialogue, and so on. >> question on left. >> hello. my question is several months ago there was nothing -- it was the occupied protest ever wear. to you find -- to you find the ones in new orleans or even a san francisco, because they were a little more subdued, do you find it is a lack of educational resources, or do you think otherwise? >> that is a tough question.
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i'm not sure i have the answer to that. maybe it is just certain themes loss of one or another. it makes it seem more pretentious than it really was. that is why i having some trouble with the question. >> my colleagues chimed in, the original participant in the dialogue. the idea is the dialog needs to be mobile. we have a fairly contentious political situation in arizona. so come up we wanted to take it there. ticket to the occupied movement. ticket outside. so, i am not sure about your premise as well. i think the passion and a lot
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of different cities has a lot to do with who people are. >> there are so many barriers to reach powerful people and even pose them a question i noticed this in my profession. there are more bear -- there are more barriers. you do not know where to go. not like you have to go screaming question. you have to chase them. you have to play cat and mouse. you cannot do that job if you are going to be civil and meek. you have to be obnoxious just to get a question to someone. isn't there a problem of of barrier? you kind of have to climb the barricades. >> we have to make sure that we continue to have ways so
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everyone has a chance to engage. i worry again about millennial politics. most of the politicians are very well off people, not necessarily ordinary citizens. >> and i worry as townhome meetings become more and more on civil -- uncivil, but they are less likely to have those opportunities for citizens to come together for conversations. i agree we need to be able to come together and talk to one another, not based on how much money i am giving you or what my title is. >> we have monthly dialogues on
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the campus. and we had a conservative republican with us. it is a very brave thing for him to do. he comes in and talks about things that are not very popular. >> time for our last question of the evening. you can join us across the hall. our guest will be there. and our guests will be there. also, i would like to think c- span for joining us tonight. house humanities. they are based here in san francisco. please check them out on line, on facebook, on twitter. >> alright.
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[unintelligible] i think this is important and relevant. the conversation that we have learned here -- we cannot reach a compromise. democracy ought to reflect that. they are supposed to reach a compromise. but you have the problem of the filibuster's. looking beyond civility, democracy will solve a lot of the problems. right now, because of
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filibusters, that will make congress to work better, because it will have no choice. will have no choice, you have to reach a compromise. -- when you have no choice, you have to reach a compromise. >> i understood you as saying he would call for a rule -- you would call for rule? >> yes. >> there are a bunch of rules like that. right now it is very hard for a presidential administration to give committees appointed. congress does not hold hearings. ok, the


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